EEOC ANNOUNCES $20 MILLION PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF SYSTEMIC RACE BIAS

By Patricia A. Schaeffer, Vice President-Regulatory Affairs

The EEOC has announced a $20 million proposed consent decree resolving a systemic race discrimination lawsuit against Walgreens, an Illinois-based national drug store chain (EEOC v. Walgreen Co., S.D. Il. 07-CV-122-GPM and Tucker v. Walgreen Co., S.D. Il. 05-CV-440-GPM).

Background:
The EEOC’s lawsuit against Walgreen alleged that the company discriminated against African American retail management and pharmacy employees in promotion, compensation and assignment. A lawsuit alleging similar claims had been filed on behalf of 14 African American current and former Walgreen employees by three law firms, including Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian. The two cases were consolidated in April 2007.

Relief:
The proposed consent decree would provide monetary relief for an estimated 10,000 class members and prohibit store assignments based on race. The decree is subject to final court approval. Walgreens has denied each of the allegations made by the private plaintiffs and the EEOC.

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